My Daughter Frowns

This has to stop. It has to. No matter how well I fake it, no matter how it feels when my daughter asks, “Do you think you’re pretty?” and I lie half a beat too slow but hopefully convincingly, “Of course!” I know that she has learned. So young, she has already learned.

My daughter has learned that I am not the perfect female. And part of her, a part she would never admit to, is ashamed.

My Daughter Frowns

My little girl likes it better when my hair is straight

and frowns when I wear a bikini

because I bear the scars of bearing her.

And she doesn’t know why or the battle that rages in my head

of “wear this” “the hottest trends” and “Mom jeans”

and “End Cellulite Today!”

“Stretch Marks Magically Disappear!”

or that I want to disappear when she frowns

and I turn back into a seven-year-old girl

and I want to shake her and hug her at the same time.

Because what she seeks in me is the

perfection that she sees everywhere.

The unattainable, airbrushed, flat ironed

salon and diet pills and plastic surgeon perfection.

And I have curly hair.

And I bear the marks of bearing her.

And she doesn’t know. She doesn’t see herself

through that filter. But it’s there. It’s in her mind already.

My perfect child will be ruined by a life seeking perfection.

Just like her mother.

And I know this already.

Because she likes me better when my hair is straight.

And she frowns when I wear a bikini.

How does one fight perfection?

How does one fight perfection?

2 comments… add one

  • julie

    So powerful!!

  • Amber

    When you look back at your teens you think “oh I was so skinny and no cellulite etc” and then you look at your 20’s and think “look how young I looked”. Well I’m pretty sure when I’m 40 I will look back at my 30’s and say something along the same line. So that means that I looked good at each stage in a different way and that’s what I hold on to. Anytime I’m about to say something… I think this is great because in 10 years it will have changed and I need to be grateful for what I I have now. I didnt really get how airbrushing was affecting me until I saw that untouched picture of Cindy Crawford. We live in a world of completely unrealistic media. I will drill it into my kids heads that those pictures are not real. But even knowing that doesn’t stop me from falling into that lie just like everyone else. What a beautiful and haunting poem. Xo . PS- you are beautiful

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